Victorian Water Polo Inc. is the governing body for the water polo sport played in Victoria, and is based at the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre (MSAC). All players participating in water polo tournaments must be registered with a Victorian club such as Essendon Water Polo Club.
The sport is physically demanding, and has similarities with basketball and soccer. There are seven players in the pool, an interchange bench to rest, and a “sin bin” for players committing an offence. There is close physical competition between opponents which occurs both above and below the water’s surface. Stringent rules and strong refereeing ensure the sport is played in good spirits. Injuries are uncommon in water polo, though mouthguards are strongly recommended given the nature of the game.
For seniors, there are two metropolitan tournaments run every year at MSAC. The Winter Competition (April-June, 10 weeks) and the Victorian Championships (August-November, 18 weeks). Each tournament is open to both men and women with a variety of grades to cater for the differing abilities within the sport. Games are generally played on a Tuesday or Thursday evening.
Junior players also have two competitions per year, usually coinciding with the school terms. Typically there is a Term 1-2 Tournament (which breaks whilst the school holidays are on) and then a Term 4 Competition. These are played generally on a Sunday. Essendon regularly sends junior teams to national club championships and actively encourages its juniors to seek to promotion to representative teams.
The Essendon Water Polo Club actively supports the promotion of the sport within Victoria.